Speech technology company Nuance Communications announced Nina, a technology enabling developers to add speech-based virtual assistant capabilities to iOS and Android mobile apps.
The company said that the solution includes speech recognition, text-to-speech, voice biometrics, and natural language understanding, hosted in the cloud. It “not only understands what is said, but can also identify who is saying it”.
Nuance said that Nina is significant for several reasons. It is the first virtual assistant to include both speech recognition and voice biometrics in a single solution; it is the first to provide an open SDK to support integration with other apps; and it is the first to enable organisations to brand their own virtual assistant persona, including appearance and custom voices.
To support the integration with iOS and Android apps, the Nina SDK has three components: core APIs, which provide access to the core cloud services; virtual assistant APIs, which provide developers with the ability to customise the persona, as well as providing control of all modes of input; and reference designs, delivering pre-configured templates and tasks to enable developers to rapidly create implementations.
The Nina Virtual Assistant SDK and cloud service is available now in US, UK and Australian English, with additional languages to be supported “later this year”. Nuance is also providing professional services to support implementation.